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How is your first week of Lent going? Are you observing Lent?
As a Christian following Jesus in our post-pandemic society, I am continually seeking for ways to grow closer to Christ. The observance of the Lenten season–a time of giving, praying, and fasting–is designed to help do that for those of us who chose to practice our faith daily in our quest to express our worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
Lent points out the bad news. We live in a fallen, broken world, alongside a sea of broken people just like us, making broken choices on a daily basis.
Yes, life in this world can be disheartening, especially if life is devoid of Jesus.
But, that’s just it. We DO have Jesus.
That’s the beautiful thing about Lent. It not only shows us our sinful, brokenness. Lent directs us to the foot of the Cross where we find Jesus. Lent reminds us of the GOOD NEWS. God is gracious, merciful, steadfast, and forgiving.
In Psalm 32, we find the great King David reminding us of how blessed we are because of God’s love for us. A love so great and grand that it is hard to fathom and difficult to adequately describe.
Psalm 32 is a psalm of thanksgiving in which David celebrates the truth that God doesn’t hold our brokenness against us. In God’s economy, love doesn’t keep score. Instead of giving us what we rightly deserve, God showers us with grace and grants us mercy. The Lord, our God, forgives, renews, and restores our brokenness, all in the name of Jesus.
That’s a lot to be thankful for in my mind. Lent helps draw us to that place where what we should get and what we receive instead meet.
In this Psalm, David speaks first (verses 1-7). In the final verses, starting with verse 8, God himself speaks, not only to David, but to you and me also.
Psalm 32 (NIV):
1 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord. And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. 7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. 10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.
11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!
God is SO good to us. I am thankful that the Lord saw fit to save me from myself. He had every right to give up on me. But rather than quit, the Lord continued His pursuit. I am grateful that He is long-suffering, gracious, and kind.
As you reflect on last week, what is one thing you are thankful that the Lord did in your life?
As you meditate on the week that lies ahead, what is one thing you need God to do for you?
Brothers and sisters, as you go where you go, do what you do, I would ask you join me in praying the Lord’s prayer:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
I pray that in the week to come you lean into the Lord and you shout the Good News in all that you say and do wherever you go, to whomever you encounter. May how you live your life draw others nearer to Jesus.
May our lives be an offering to the Lord as we share the love of Christ in our broken, fallen, post-pandemic world during this season of giving, praying, and fasting.
The Devotional Guy™
The Devotional Guy™ Rainer Bantau © 2023